This paper discusses the experience that I encountered when arguing for the legalization of euthanasia in a class debate.
There comes a situation whereby something has to be done in order to fix things, no matter how much it may be perceived to be immoral or illegal. Euthanasia has been an act that has been greatly debated about and in fact, illegalized (Van Raemdonck and Neyrinck 1179). Euthanasia like as it is referred to be a “merciful killing” is actually an act that is applied so as to fix a health situation precisely to relieve an ailing person from pain. Even though euthanasia helps to relieve the ailing person’s pain and suffering, euthanasia is considered to be an unethical, immoral and illegal act of practice (Baran et al. 69). Therefore, this paper discusses the experience that I encountered when arguing for the legalization of euthanasia in a class debate.
I once participated in a heated debate in my classroom about euthanasia and the legality issue about this phenomenon on whether it should be legalized. My stand in this debate was that it euthanasia should be legalized because we currently live in a civilized society which needs to permit people to die in dignity, a painless death, and other people should be allowed to give a helping hand to those who are unable to manage to do it by themselves (Brouwer et al. 13). I had difficulty taking this position. Before this debate, I have always been against euthanasia as I perceived euthanasia to be murder. I have always advocated and supported the illegalization of euthanasia since it is murder and since it is also against my moral standards as per my religion. Switching to agree with the need for legalization of euthanasia from my previous standpoint whereby I disagreed with was quite an uphill task since I strongly opposed euthanasia from my moral perspective attributed to my religion. My religion, Christianity, life is sacred and it condemns any act that takes away a person’s life (Hall and Parker 1179). And euthanasia also helps to reduce human suffering due to pain. This created a big dilemma in deciding my standpoint but I eventually choose to support legalization of euthanasia.
In preparation for this debate, I indeed change my position. I have always feared that euthanasia can be done to one a family member who did not deserve it one day. I believed that many deaths would occur in hospitals due to intentional negligence then framed on euthanasia. The abuse of euthanasia was the greatest fear for me. But on a second thought, I changed my position to support legalization of euthanasia because the laws of euthanasia would control the application of euthanasia on patients in hospitals (Hall and Parker 1180). Moreover, the fact that euthanasia helps to reduce human suffering and can only be done by choice, I was convinced to change my mind to support legalization of euthanasia.
From the argumentations in the debate, I learned from those against the legalization of euthanasia that they value life and their arguments were mostly from a religious perspective asserting that life is sacred, given by God and only God decides when to terminate (Baran et al. 71). I also learned that those against legalization of euthanasia are afraid that suppose euthanasia is legalized, laws regulating euthanasia will be abused thus resulting in the death of innocent people who did not intend to die. For those supporting legalization of euthanasia, I learned that even though euthanasia is illegal in some countries, it is still practiced in those countries by health professionals despite being illegal. In essence, despite being illegal, some cases of euthanasia are not prosecuted due to the consideration of the death circumstances and therefore it should just be legalized (Baran et al. 72). Additionally, from our position, I learned that suicide and euthanasia should not be a crime because the body belongs to the individual and therefore he or she should be permitted to undertake whatever they want to do with them. Therefore, it is inappropriate to make anybody to live longer than they desire. Also when preparing for the debate I applied the concept of life belongs to an individual and he or she decides what to do with it. This concept helped in shaping and backing up my stand to support the legalization of euthanasia. This concept emphasized that an individual decides on how long they want to live.
To sum up, I am now persuaded by my agreement to support euthanasia legalization, a standpoint that I never imagine I would ever agree with. I never imagine myself ever getting to support euthanasia legalization at all as I viewed it as the most immoral phenomenon. I am now persuaded by the fact suicide and euthanasia should not be a crime because the body belongs to the individual and therefore he or she should be permitted to undertake whatever they want to do with them. I convinced that euthanasia is not a bad thing. It is important exclusively for those ailing and suffering from pain. Hospitalized people suffering from pain due to untreatable diseases that have persisted and there is no hope of them recovering should actually be given euthanasia to relieve them from excess pain though they have to consent to it. Therefore, I am totally convinced that euthanasia should be legalized to help reduce human suffering due to pain caused by illnesses.